Think Like an Architect

Think like an architect!


What is a building used for? Is it used to:

  • live in? (home)
  • work in? (office)
  • learn in? (school)
  • play sports in? (a stadium)
  • pray in? (a church, a mosque, a temple)


Materials are used to make buildings – both the structure and inside and outside surfaces. Materials can be made from naturally occurring substances or man-made products.

Natural material examples: timber (wood), stone, mud man-made material examples: concrete, bricks, steel, glass. Many of these use a mixture of natural and synthetic substances.


How big is your chosen building compared to the others close to it? Think how big am I compared to a door, to my home?


Insides of buildings are lit up by a combination of natural and artificial light.

Natural Light: Does sunlight come into the building? Are there lots of windows? Are there roof lights?

Artificial Light: Can you see lots of lightbulbs through the windows?


How does the building stand up? Think about what holds up the roof?

Can you see the structure? Clues: does it have steel or timber posts (columns) or beams visible?

Scale drawings and models

It’s impossible to draw buildings at their real size on paper! Architects, therefore, need to scale down their drawings of buildings, furniture and people to fit on paper. Builders and architects use special scale rulers to measure from scale drawings.

Think ‘Honey I shrunk the Kids’! Or look at your toy cars and dolls, which are scaled-down by a ratio.

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